If you’re planning on cooking this season, following are some handy holiday recipes to help.
It will soon be upon us, the week when loved ones gather together to offer thanks. It’s no secret that food often takes center stage – during the holidays in general, and next week in particular.
In America we have this tendency to overdo things – case in point: the food at state fairs. Hot Beef Sundae. Fried Beer. Mealworm-covered Caramel Apples. Fried Butter. (Yes, that was actually served at the Montana State Fair).
Tis the Season for Decadent Delights
Chances are you’ve heard of Turducken – a chicken, encased inside a duck, encased within a turkey. Then the whole thing is cooked up as the ultimate poultry feast.
Well, creative and possibly slightly crazy baking minds have come up with the dessert equivalent. It’s a mega-pie/cake extravaganza, billed as the “Turducken of Desserts.”
Actually, the official name is the Pumpecapple Piecake, and it comes from Three Brothers Bakery in Houston. It weighs a whopping 23.5 pounds and fetches $250. It’s big enough to feed an army or a neighborhood. You’ll be a very popular person on the block.
It’s actually three pies within three cakes, all stacked on top of each other. So in other words, it’s:
- A pumpkin pie baked inside a pumpkin spice cake,
- A pecan pie (or chocolate pecan pie) baked within a chocolate cake, and
- An apple pie within an apple spice cake.
This isn’t one of those holiday recipes to try. You’d just better go ahead and order one from them. Here’s a link to do just that. And don’t forget some Pepcid AC to go with it.
Pick up a Pecan Pie
If you’re looking to pick up a classic southern dessert in person, there’s a great gourmet option near the Isle of Palms. Young Plantations has set up shop for the holidays. From now through November 21st, they are having a pecan pie sale. You can purchase a classic pecan pie for $11.95, or a chocolate version for $12.95. That’s a bit more reasonable than the Pumpecapple Piecake. And again, you don’t need to follow holiday recipes to get one; just take a quick drive instead.
They also sell all kinds of classic southern treats like cheese straws, fresh pecans, candies, gift boxes, tins and baskets that make a great souvenir from your stay in Charleston.
Their shop is located in Towne Centre, on the roundabout near Lowe’s. The address is 1117 Market Center Blvd., Suite 100 in Mount Pleasant. That’s just over the Connector from the Isle of Palms.
Cook up the big dinner yourself… with a couple holiday recipes from the chefs at Middleton Place Plantation:
Brandon Buck, Middleton Place Executive Chef
Pecan Bourbon & Apple Cider Turkey Brine
- ½ cup of pecan bourbon (alcohol cooked off)
- 1 gallon apple cider
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ light brown sugar
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 6 leaves of sage
For the roasting of the turkey
- ¼ lb. unsalted butter
- 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 3 cups mirepoix (2 parts diced onion, 1 part diced celery, 1 part dice carrot)
Begin by simmering your bourbon in a 6 qt or larger stockpot until the alcohol has burned out of the base liquor. Next add your apple cider, and bay leaves bringing that to a simmer. Next add your ¾ cup of kosher salt and ½ cup of light brown sugar then stir until dissolved. Finish by adding your thyme, sage, and black peppercorns. Allow the mixture to cool by placing in an ice water bath, and then pour the brine completely over the turkey in large bags or a plastic container.
Allow the turkey at least 6 hours, up to 12 hours, to be immersed in this brine. At the end of your time with the turkey in brine remove and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Finally rub with olive oil, season lightly with herbs, salt, and ground pepper and bake at 325 F in a roasting pan with 4 cups turkey or chicken stock , ¼ lb. unsalted butter, and your mirepoix. Baste every 15 minutes with this liquid until you reach an internal temperature of 165F. For a nice addition to your turkey if baking, brush with the Bourbon Sorghum glaze for the last 30 minutes of cooking once every 10 minutes
Bourbon Sorghum Glaze
- ¾ cup of bourbon
- ½ cup Sorghum Syrup
- ½ lb. unsalted butter
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring and heat until dissolved. Brush on your turkey towards the end of cooking to form a nice golden brown skin doing so in 10 minute intervals.
Holiday recipes: A Classic Homemade Dessert…
Courtney Simpson, Middleton Place Restaurant Pastry Chef
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup ice cold water
Mix flour and salt in bowl of mixer. Slowly add butter to flour while mixer is on slow/medium speed. Mix until butter cubes are about pea sized. Slowly add water a little at a time until a dough ball forms. You may not use all the water. You are looking for a drier dough. Divide dough in half and wrap each half. Allow dough to chill and rest at least 20 minutes. Roll out each dough half to a circular shape. Line pie pan with one of the halves and allow dough to hang over the pans edge about an inch. Trim if needed. Save the other rolled out half for the top. Place dough in the refrigerator while you are preparing the filling to allow dough to firm up.
- 4-6 apples, peeled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour Mix together sugars and spice in a separate bowl. Peel and cut apples. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples and allow them to macerate. Once some sugar has resolved and the mixture has made some juice, add flour and mix. Place apple mixture in prepared pie pan and add butter pieces on around on top. Brush the edges of the crust with an egg wash. Place top pie crust on and pinch sides together. Finish the edges of the crust as you would like. Cut small vent holes on the top to allow steam to escape while baking.Egg wash the top and sprinkle with sugar in the raw (optional) and bake pie at 425 F for 20 minutes and then turn heat down to 375 F and allow to finish baking. Pie crust should be a golden brown and filling should be bubbling through vent holes. Allow pie to cool before serving.
And remember to count your blessings, count them one by one.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger